ANC resolves to take away rural land custodianship from chiefs

20 December 2017 - 18:57 By Olebogeng Molatlhwa
Obed Bapela told reporters that he did not anticipate any problems with transferring the communal land to the relevant communities because it was held in trust by the government and was merely under custodianship of traditional leaders.
Obed Bapela told reporters that he did not anticipate any problems with transferring the communal land to the relevant communities because it was held in trust by the government and was merely under custodianship of traditional leaders.
Image: Gallo Images / The Times / Lauren Mulligan

South Africans living on communal land under the custodianship of traditional leaders are set to gain full control and ownership of 13 percent of land.

This comes after the ANC resolved at its national conference in Johannesburg that traditional leaders should relinquish custodianship of the land‚ which is held in trust by the government.

The land in question - mostly rural - is the final destination of millions of black people as a result of the legislated dispossession of their land by the apartheid regime.

"That land belongs to the people and we resolved that 13% of the land under the custodianship of traditional leaders be transferred to the people who live in those communities‚" said Obed Bapela‚ the deputy minister of traditional affairs who is member of the ANC's subcommittee on legislature and governance.

Bapela told reporters that he did not anticipate any problems with transferring the communal land to the relevant communities because it was held in trust by the government and was merely under custodianship of traditional leaders.

In addition‚ the land was already registered in the name of the various communities living on it.

Bapela explained that the process would pave the way for significant rural development since much of that rural land was not in use.

Meanwhile‚ the party has also resolved that the review of municipal boundaries‚ or demarcation‚ be conducted on a "on a 10 year cycle" because the current arrangement was disruptive.

Said Bapela: "There will no longer be this every-five-years’ demarcation which disrupts settlements and affects how people experience services." 

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